Day 3: Morning of…
I actually slept until 6:45am, which is a big feat for me, and I have to say it feels kinda weird. I have to check out soon and feel I should have been up earlier to soak in more of this experience. I want to do the perimeter hike so bad today, but this might be a hike I figure out with my plus one.
I don’t like to hold myself back. If I want to do it and no one else wants to do it, then I still do it. I don’t want to wait for this adventure, and maybe I won’t. Maybe I will still go. But if I don’t, I’m coming back next week to navigate the hike and finalize the plans of our summer QiTopia adventure. My plan for today is to enjoy my room until I have to check out and then pack up my car and go on an adventure. I’m heading back to the platforms for movement practice and then I’m going to leave my mat and beloved PVC pipe to return to my hike, a portion of the perimeter hike that I did yesterday.
I will see what I do today… I will either make way like I did yesterday and finish at the Stupa, or I will explore more and try to finish the 7.1 miles of perimeter following the red stakes. I’m going to allow the silence to tell me what to do. I will know in my gut if I should continue on by myself or if I should drop down and enter the great sanctuary of silence to sit in front of Buddha, just as I did yesterday. No matter what I decide, I will make my way back to the Stupa before I leave.
I now know a little more about the power, meaning and history of the Stupa and what it means to the followers of this tradition. Not that I’m not a follower, but, I’m not a follower, if you get what I mean. I believe in all of the religions, even the religion of atheism. There, I said it, I believe atheism is as religious and holy as Buddhism, Christianity and even the Yoga worship. My belief is that everyone who believes in something, someone, or believes/follows a concept is practicing religion, or dogma.
I believe in it all. I believe in God, Buddha, and Shiva. I also believe my atheist friends when they state that there is no God. I believe in the mythical stories of Hanuman and Vishnu. I believe in the Universe. I am a practicing Taoist… I believe in it all. I will not answer to the definition of Agnostic… I will never label myself. I choose paradoxical living: a life where everything has a truth and non-truth. I love the world of opposites and I truly believe this is why I am enjoying my life so much right now. I see the good in all bad, the bad in all good, and I’m not locked into any one dogma or story.
I am free to do what I want. I get to change the way I move bodies on the mat because I no longer define myself as a yoga teacher. I get to change the way I do business every day if I want because I tell everyone, teachers and members alike, that I have the right to change my mind. If I come up with a better idea for membership rates, programs, class schedules, teachers, leaders, etc., I have the right to change my mind and implement my ever-changing thoughts and ideas.
This is why I am an Entrepreneur. I run my own business to have a platform to launch my ideas and to be free to do so when I want. I can’t imagine life without creative power to make changes or launch ideas. I realized yesterday, on my hike, that this is the reason I am as I am. I’ve received so much advice to brand myself so I can grow QiFlow to the next level…but I refuse to brand. I want the opportunity to learn and be inspired daily, minute by minute, to make constant changes in my life and the life of my community. This is what I mean by “new movement, new results”.
I will return to the Stupa today to give thanks and to leave my offering of love, compassion and kindness toward my son Max, my family, and my QiFlow family. This place is truly a blessing. I want to share my blessings with everyone. I do these trips for myself, but in the end, I always think about my QiFlow family.
I think about my family, too, but I know I could never talk any of them to do an adventure like this with me. They have their beliefs and routines and they are locked in tight. It’s okay though, because I love them anyway. But I have to realize when to move forward, so, when I have these kinds of adventures and experience the deep wave of desire to share my experience with someone, I always think about my QiFlow family.
This is what QiFlow is all about: a family who shares experiences both on and off the mat. I had this same feeling when I went on my first trip to Mt. Princeton hot springs resort. A year later, after that first visit, I launched QiTopia Yoga and Movement Adventures. Since then, we’ve had three great years at Mt. Princeton and plan to have many more years to come. But Mt. Princeton is our winter retreat. Now that I’m here, I know deep in my bones that this is the place for our summer QiTopia retreat. Two great locations, two great retreats…but paradoxical.
One is filled with people; 75-100 people every year join us at our winter retreat, and it’s a party filled with energy, music, hot springs, laughter and wine. Groups of three to four share log cabins, take all sorts of yoga and movement classes throughout the weekend, spend time in the hot springs while hanging out and with friends discussing all things from life on the mat to what’s going on in social media.
The summer retreat’s focus is silence and movement. It’s smaller, with less people, 20-30 max, and the goal is to get lost in the silence. Two days of silent hikes and movement workshops that will be taught with less talking, more doing.
The art of observation and demonstration. Paradoxical living at it’s very best. A weekend to shut off the sound: no music, no podcast, no YouTube or audiobooks, no movies or tv, and no social media.
A weekend to explore the depths of silence and movement from guided silent hikes, mobility on the Stupa deck, and QiFlow on the outdoor platforms moving and grooving to the sounds of the silence around us. This is the QiTopia ShamBhala Silence in Movement Retreat. I hope the Shambhala Center finds room for us this year…
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